In this blog series, you’ll get succinct, practical tips on how you can optimize your AMCAS application for acceptance to top medical schools.
A successful essay structure usually looks like this:
1. Lead or hook
As a personal interest piece (see our post Why Do We Have Personal Statements?), you want your reader to read your essay out of interest, not obligation. The best way to do this is to draw your reader in with some captivating, spellbinding opening. “Hi, my name is…” or “I was born in…” or “I want to be a doctor because…” certainly won’t cut it! Stay away from the common and ordinary. Start with a catchy anecdote, question, bit of dialogue, or description that you think will capture your reader’s attention. Put your reader in the middle of whatever story you plan to tell.
Your thesis acts as the core idea of essay. While a successful essay doesn’t necessarily need to spell out a main topic (for example, you don’t need to say “the purpose of this essay is…”), it should somehow be present in your essay – both as a guiding light to make sure that you don’t get lost in your writing and ramble on about a million different topics, and so that your reader remains focused and attentive to the point that you’re trying to convey.
The body of your essay is the longest section. In the body you’ll present evidence (specifics that add interest and credibility to your essay and distinguish you from your competition) to support your thesis. In this section of your AMCAS essay, you’ll want to order your points (and sub-points if you have them) either chronologically, logically, or thematically. You should always put your most interesting points earlier in the essay.
Your essay’s conclusion should restate your main idea or theme. You shouldn’t parrot what you introduced earlier in the essay, but you should find a way to include it and also relate an implication or two, for example, why this theme or story is important or revealing. Also, if you asked a question at the beginning of your essay, make sure you’ve answered it by the end.
“How Should You Structure Your Essays?” is taken from the Accepted guide, Ace the AMCAS Essay. To download the complete guide, Click here.
Learn more about writing a strong, memorable medical school application when you join us live for our upcoming Create a Winning AMCAS Application webinar on Tuesday, April 10th, 2018.
For individualized assistance, check out Accepted’s AMCAS Application Advising and Editing Packages – get matched with an expert med school advisor who will help you highlight your competitive advantage and get ACCEPTED!
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